Volcanic Air – a great way to see New Zealand

A helicopter ride with Volcanic Air is a great way to see White Island
A helicopter ride with Volcanic Air is a great way to see White Island

Rotorua is an awesome place and we love it. There is so much to see and do here that you will never be short on ideas and opportunities to try something new. Whether you go and explore the geo thermal wonderland at Wai-O-Tapu, relax in the thermal waters of the Polynesian Spa or maybe whizz down the slopes in the Whakarewarewa Forest there is something to suit everyone. If you are looking to try something completely different and get a different view of New Zealand’s stunning landscape, Volcanic Air could be just right for you.

What is Volcanic Air?

Volcanic Air has a fleet of floatplanes and helicopters
Volcanic Air has a fleet of floatplanes and helicopters

Volcanic Air is based on the shores of Lake Rotorua and offers the most comprehensive range of scenic flights and air tours in the region. The company was set up in 1992 and since then they have taken over 100,000 intrepid travellers through the skies around Rotorua and the Bay of Plenty. Volcanic Air runs a mix fleet of both helicopters and floatplanes and the versatility of these aircraft allow Volcanic Air to reach remote destinations that are hard to reach by other means.

What can I see on a scenic flight?

Volcanic Air will take you to some of the most exciting places in the North Island and this is a huge part of their success. Not many people get the opportunity to fly in a helicopter or on a floatplane but the chance to see some of these spectacular sights from the air is something not to be missed.

White Island

White Island is spectacular from the air
White Island is spectacular from the air

Situated 50kms offshore, White Island is a permanently active volcano which is constantly spewing out a cloud of steam and from time to time, will erupt, sending large plumes of volcanic ash up into the atmosphere. Because the main vent is situated below sea level, the island’s crater lake is constantly bubbling and is a true sight to behold. The island was once mined for sulphur and visitors to White Island will immediately notice the sulphuric smell that is also prevalent in Rotorua. White Island is also surrounded by waters rich in marine life and is a great spot for game fishing including the yellow tail kingfish. Dolphins can often be found in the waters surrounding the island and there are several gannet colonies on the island.

Mt Tarawera

Volcanic Air offers up great views of Mt Tarawera from the skies
Volcanic Air offers up great views of Mt Tarawera from the skies

We have already written about the explosive history of Mt Tarawera so the opportunity to go and fly over this spectacular volcanic mountain is something truly special. The eruption in 1886 resulted in the loss of over 150 lives and also saw the world-famous pink and white terraces destroyed. It also changed the landscape forever. Set amidst a myriad of volcano crater lakes and steeped in Maori legend, Mount Tarawera’s rugged landscape and its 8 kilometre long rift is a source of wonder to both visitors and locals alike.  Standing on Mount Tarawera offers a privileged view of spectacular craters and domes formed by the eruption and the opportunity to get so close to the crater is something truly special.

Rotorua

The lakes of Rotorua seen from a Volcanic Air floatplane
The lakes of Rotorua seen from a Volcanic Air floatplane

The landscape around Rotorua is truly spectacular, even when viewed from ground level so imagine what it looks like from the skies. If you choose to visit either of the above destinations, you will also get the opportunity of a unique view of Rotorua where you can make out the stunning champagne pools of Wai-O-Tapu or the steaming geysers of Te Puia. If you are looking for something truly unique the next time you visit Rotorua, then make sure you give Volcanic Air a go – it’s a trip of a lifetime.

For more information about scenic flights with Volcanic Air and to find out more about their destinations, visit the website.

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